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PU Admission stalls row : IJT clash

Admission stalls row: 16 hurt in IJT-PU staff clash
Lahore, Aug 11: Islami Jamiat Tulaba activists and Punjab University officials and security guards on Monday clashed over setting up of an admission stall on the New Campus, leaving six students and 10 employees injured.

The IJT activists were setting up an admission stall in front of Faisal Auditorium on Punjab University New Campus on Monday morning, which the PU administration says is an illegal act as it does not allow any student organisation to set up admission stalls.

As the IJT activists were bringing tables and chairs, PU resident officer-I Shahid Gul along with RO-II, estate officers and guards stopped them from setting up the stall. Mr Gul asked them to sit at the stalls set up by the university and behave like `genuine' students.

Meanwhile, the security guards started removing chairs from the stall, which infuriated the IJT men and they brought out sticks and started beating the guards. The guards also retaliated as a result six students and 10 varsity employees, including guards, suffered injuries.

The IJT leaders claimed that the university administration as well as guards carrying iron rods attacked its stall and injured six students. Two students -- Mahmood of statistics department and Zahid of Institute of Education and Research (IER), were shifted to Jinnah Hospital by Rescue 1122. Four students, who received minor injuries, were discharged after first aid.

On the other hand, the university administration alleged that the IJT activists along with expelled students and other `external elements' armed with batons and iron rods injured 10 PU employees. At least four injured employees were also shifted to the Jinnah Hospital. Estate officer Abdul Shakoor was also among the injured.

Even after the incident, the IJT continued to run its stall in front of Faisal Auditorium and chanted slogans against the administration. PU IJT nazim Qaiser Sharif vowed that the Jamiat would continue organising welfare activities for students and set up stalls outside every department on Tuesday (today).

According to a news release issued by the PU spokesman, the incident took place when teachers were talking to the IJT members for removing the illegal admission stall established without permission of university authorities outside the Faisal Auditorium. "Suddenly, IJT activists started misbehaving with the teachers and attacked the employees with rods and batons and injured 10 employees, including five seriously who were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital," he said.

The spokesman said the university employees protested the incident and demanded a stern action against the responsible elements of IJT.

He said admission activities continued in the varsity and all the departments had established over 42 stalls where teachers, students and employees were guiding the visitors. Moreover, the university administration had also established three main stalls outside IER, Institute of Communication Studies and Centre of Undergraduate Studies where information was being provided to the students. As there were a number of students' organisations operating in the university, the spokesman said the administration had last year decided that no student organisation would be allowed to establish stalls to avert likelihood of any clash. However, the students who wanted to guide newcomers might offer their services at departments' stalls voluntarily. Dawn


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No pay revision for second shift teachers since '01
Lahore: The Punjab Education Department (PED) has paid a deaf ear to the plight of second-shift teachers of government colleges in the province. The remuneration of Rs 300 per lecture, for the teachers from within the respective colleges and outside, was fixed some eight years back in 2001. It needs revision and must be at least Rs 600 per lecture, as the inflation and prices of the essentials have increased manifold.

There should be separate rules and procedures of administration for the second-shift like attendance and leave etc. The lecturers of second-shift should also be given retaining allowances during summer vacations, as they get wages only during the academic session of hardly six months for the lectures they deliver.

Paradoxically, however, as the admission to first year Arts and Science session 2009-10 has begun, a prejudiced lobby has become active to undo second-shift programmes in government colleges in Punjab. They have started arguing with education department officials and senior academicians of colleges to create controversy on the second-shift. They are propagating that second-shift has been creating problems for the teachers and colleges' administrations, which is wholly untrue. The fact is that the second-shift has increased enrolment in higher education.

According to an estimate, some 50,000 matriculates, who usually fail to get admission to morning classes due to high merit every year, are accommodated in the second-shift. It is successfully running parallel to the first-shift.

The admissions in the second-shift are made on nominal fees i.e., Rs 3,600 - in Intermediate disciplines, and Rs 7,000 - in B-Com, BSc or BA etc, which mean Rs 10 per day for Inter and Rs 20 per day for graduate classes.

The second-shift fee for MA, MSc is also very competitive as compared to afternoon or evening programmes of the Punjab University (PU), other public sector varsities or autonomous colleges while the tuition fee for such programmes in private sector colleges and varsities is five times higher. Thus, a useful practice is being vitiated by vested interest obviously from the private sector, which is hard hit since the second-shift was introduced.

The second-shift has not only helped thousands of parents to get their children admitted to the colleges at affordable tuition fee, but also provided an opportunity to teachers to teach at the same college after mid-day and earn some financial benefits.

After the first-shift, teachers prefer to stay in colleges for the second-shift, thus, absenteeism of teachers has decreased and quality of education in morning-shift has also increased. The idea of second-shift was conceived to utilise college buildings in afternoon as well as to provide an opportunity of admission to the applicants with low merit who otherwise could not compete in the morning-shift.

The quality of education and facilities are equivalent in the first and second shifts while the second-shift starts around 12 at noon, when the first-shift is over. It also provides job opportunity to thousands of young varsity graduates to teach in the second-shift on per lecture basis.

The government too is earning tuition fee revenue, which can be diverted to provide missing facilities to colleges and expand the infrastructure to accommodate more children in the government colleges at affordable tuition fee. The nation


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Punjabi dictionary launched
Lahore: A Punjabi-Urdu dictionary with 175,000 words, spread over more than 3,500 pages in two volumes was launched at a ceremony on Monday.

Late linguist Sardar Muhammad Khan has compiled the dictionary while Sachal Studios and Pakistan Punjabi Adbi Board Lahore has jointly published it. app


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